Page images

He may,

experience of the imaginative reader will readily furnish him with examples from passages in his own individual history. perhaps, have felt a patriotic sensibility awakened, as he put on his “ Kossuth" hat or smoked his “Garibaldi” pipe. He may have perceived a martial yearning satisfied as he struggled into his “Wellingtons" or plunged into his “Bluchers;" or have enjoyed, as he wriggled into his “Crimean vest," a ray of the inspiration of Balaklava, or a draught of the patience of Inkerman.

There is another class of advertisements which we must not pass over, and which depend for success on what they pre-suppose, rather than on what they explicitly declare. Under this head come portraits of the authors of successful and convenient inventions, so often seen in shop windows. The intelligent spectator can scarcely glance at the picture and read the inscription, without concluding that it was exclusively on the strength of the inventor's great achievements that society, in each case, resolved to call in the painter's art. “ It is not without good reason," he reflects, " that a man gets his portrait painted and presented to him by a grateful public." And then his fancy glances back to the triumphant introduction of the new invention-to the gratitude of delighted connoisseurs—to the envy of rival tradesmen. The odds are ten to one that, before the intelligent (but somewhat prosy) spectator has finished these reflections, he has given a liberal order, and will undoubtedly pay his bill.

Some minds are tickled by the inuendo, which would have turned incredulously from an explicit statement.

As the class appealed to becomes smaller, the advertisement loses, of course, somewhat in respect of the ground which it covers, but it gains proportionately in point of special significance. The idiosyncrasy of any particular class of persons is able to produce and maintain advertisements for their special benefit, if their numbers or their wealth appear to the intelligent advertiser sufficient to render his undertaking remunerative. The well known appeal to the racing world, “The Winner of the Scents ! Newmarket Jockey Club perfume, first; The Royal Hunt Bouquet, second; The Yacht Club Nosegay, a clever third !” has doubtless done good service in its day. To the imaginative turfite the association is doubtless congenial and attractive. It is a good omen to savour of “the winner of the scents,” and to be “there or thereabouts," in perfume, if not in place. The mere name of the winner has charms for him, though his relation to it is somewhat shadowy, and the race only metaphorical.

The ruse of testimonials from imaginary peers and gentry has probably survived its attractiveness, and, even in its best day, its effect must have been confined to a very credulous class of persons. The humour of parody is somewhat too subtle to be generally appreciated. And

besides, even assuming the parody to be well suited to the taste of the class appealed to, its due appreciation of course implies a tolerably familiar knowledge of the original, and a more attentive study than is generally bestowed on advertisements.

The appeal to our reasonable resentment is, in the writer's opinion, far more scientific, and deserving of a more liberal success. A fair instance of this class is afforded by the advertisement of an eminent conjuror, which appeared broadcast over England a few years ago, "married to 50 wives, Hamburgher is coming."

The advertiser would rather we were indignant with him than that we ignored his existence. For some purposes, perhaps, it is just as well to " begin with a little dislike.” We may call him a monster for his 50 wives if we choose ; he is content if we take a reserved seat at his performance. He can trust to his cleverness to secure our suffrages.

A ruse similar in principle is employed in a provincial advertisement which may be worth citing. There appeared posted up in large letters the words “Man found hanging," and, at an interval of some inches, in equally conspicuous characters, “One hundred pounds reward." Appreciation of the horrible of course constrains the idler to pause and read. But on a close inspection he perceives that there are other words, in smaller characters, preceding and following the startling announcement, the purport of the whole being merely that—“If there be any man found hanging better paper at a cheaper rate than Jones & Co., he will receive one hundred pounds reward."

It is probable that advertisement, considered as an art, is at present quite in its infancy. Much of the success hitherto achieved is probably due rather to a rough and ready insight into the familiar wants and weaknesses of men, than to any scientific analysis of the subject. But it can hardly be doubted that an enlarged observation, and the application of judicious rules based on its results, would enable the advertiser to interpret the signs of the times with greater correctness and effect. Of course, he can only hope to make such approximation to the scientific method as the nature of the subject-matter admits of. But even this approximation—though not a very close one—will be found, in the long run, far superior to the merely empirical method; even as whist according to law is more productive, at the year's end, than whist according to fancy. There is no reason why resources, analagous to the ruses and tricks of rhetoric, should not be applied to the sister art of persuasion by advertisement. In that case, men will do well to look to the joints of their harness; for the bow will no longer be drawn “at a venture," but with a definite aim, and with the archer's full strength. Another illustration will have been given to men, that, in the province of fact, as well as in that of fiction, “knowledge is power."

J. S.

[blocks in formation]



"Oh for a falconer's voice To lure this tassel gentle back again."

Who can define love-or say where the line is drawn dividing love from madness? Somebody has said that “it is impossible to love and be wise," and so it would appear Lord Bacon thought when he wrote thus_“You may observe that amongst all the great and worthy persons (whereof the memory remaineth either ancient or recent) there is not one that hath been transported to the mad degree of love, which shows that great spirits and great business do keep out this weak passion;" truly, he makes two exceptions, but exceptions prove the rule; so we have it, upon good authority, that love and wisdom do not run together, or if they are entered in the same stakes, one wins while the other is nowhere. Roger Wimborne had no pretensions to great wisdom or great business, and, to follow up my lord's essay, being “martial,” he “was given to love ;” and truly the love that was seething in his heart was near akin to madness.

As long as he had been within the attraction of Lilly Babbington's merry voice and gentle kindness, he had believed that the old passion of his life had died out, and although there shot up a bright flame when he heard the men talking of his lost love, he had come under Lilly's influence next day, and, as we have seen, had profited by the occasion.

Once again at home, and conscious that he could never look to Lilly for consolation, he fell back upon old memories and hopes; the smouldering fire flared up again, and, during the day that followed, Roger's mind was in a strange state of perplexity, excitement, and indecision. One hour he would determine to brave everything and seek Rhoda out; another, the suggestions arising from what he had so lately heard woke up the darker feelings in his nature ; another, he would beat both these down, and laugh at what he called a boyish folly. So the day passed, and dusk put an end to shooting, and gave the pheasants a respite. It was Weymouth's last day but one, the next the hounds met near, so there would be something else to do. Willy was very much addicted to talking of horseflesh, and liked to recall hunting reminiscences, but few of his friends had been blessed with a sight of him in the pigskin ; it had become a sort of standing joke to appeal to him upon all questions touching the art of riding, and more than one young gentleman had dared to whisper that Mr. Weymouth was apt to take the advice given to the man who regretted not having done Mont Blanc-" Think so and say so.”

Willy professed great interest in the prospects of the morrow, especially as to whether many ladies honoured the meet, and if so, who? Would Miss Wimborne be out ? Roger said he thought it likely enough, so when dinner was over Willy devoted himself more than usual to Silvia, and finally extracted a promise to be permitted to act cavalier to her next day.

“ I'll not see much of the run,” he sighed to Charley, “because girls always rattle along the roads, but it's my last day, and-and-the fact is I want to say something to Miss Wimborne."

“The deuce you do," ejaculated Charley, getting red in the face, “cannot you say it without losing a day's hunting ?”

Willy looked mysterious and supercilious at the same time.

“My dear boy, what an innocent you are ! I can get a day's hunting any time, but I cannot see Miss Wimborne any day. You're uncommonly soft in that quarter yourself. But all's fair in love and war. I'd no notion of being so desperate until I came down” (he was right, he might have added until he heard of hunting) “this time, but now, you see,"--and Willy heaved a sigh_“I must get it settled. I won't break my heart, you know, if she don't see my side of the question, but I give you fair warning I mean to do the business to-morrow, so you cannot say I've taken a dirty advantage of you."

Charley laughed, but there was not much mirth in the laugh; he was too sore at heart not to grudge any one-even Willy Weymouth-the chance of having Silvia talking to him all alone; he was regretting the promise he had given Lady Wimborne, and wishing he had the courage to plead the hackneyed excuse of sudden business and get away ; but then everybody at Thornhill knew his leave was not over ; and as for business, Charley Elmes and business didn't seem to go together; so he saw nothing for it but to fight it out, and stay where he was—perhaps he was enabled to bear the seeming penance better when he heard Gerald Guest announce his intention of going to town next day.

Gerald's intention seemed to take more persons than Charley by surprise. Silvia's face wore a startled look-Lady Wimborne's a puzzled one-and Roger loudly remonstrated, holding forth the advantages of the next day's “meet," the certainty of " a find,” and all the numerous contingencies likely to influence a man under the circumstances, but Gerald had made up his mind, it seemed.

“I've been thinking of it pretty much all day," he said to Roger when they were standing at the hall-door after dinner, the latter anxiously consulting the weather, “and I'd better take myself off ; I am not used to a quiet life, and it doesn't suit me; I've been a wanderer all my days and the glamour is on me again.

He was getting ready a cigar as he spoke, but his fingers shook so that it fell and rolled down the steps ; the night was cloudy, dark enough to hide his face, and as he followed the cigar, Roger came down too, and putting his arm through his, walked down the terrace.

“I want to speak to you, Gerald,” he said, as they turned back; "don't run away-at any rate just yet-I am only waiting for an answer from the agent about the passengers on board the 'Lioness,' and then we can go up together.”

“I think it was a pity you didn't let me take my own way and follow Harry,” said Captain Guest; “ I'd have been sure to trace him-but I wish I had gone."

“Nonsense! Why should you fly to the other side of the world when a letter would do as well ? Besides, what would my mother do without you, she looks upon you as a fixture here now; I am no use compared to you; besides, I am going abroad."

“You ?"

Yes; I heard some news at Wellingford that has set the old wound bleeding."

“Do you mean you've heard about the girl you told me of ?”

"Yes, they were talking of her;" and Roger detailed the conversation in the smoking-room.

“I don't see what you can make of this,” Gerald went on, when he had heard the story; “if it was Harry she followed, as seems likely, your best plan is to wait to hear his story."

“I cannot wait ;" said Roger, hoarsely.
“ But where will you go ?”
“I saw her in Paris ; I can go there—I'll find her if she's there."
“Well, and then ?"
“ I'll know what the truth is."
" And then ?"

Roger did not answer ; he had only thought of the present, not the future. He had not asked himself what was to follow the knowledge he thirsted after; he had not even thought if anything was necessary, until Gerald's simple—and then,'-pulled him up, just in time to see the precipice, but whether in time to avoid it or no, we shall be better judges hereafter.

A straightforward question is always the most difficult to answer; so Roger found the present; and he did the best thing he could have done, he answered honestly

“ I never thought.”

If he could have seen Gerald's face, his self-conceit (which like all young men he had a fair share of) would have received a shock ; but the darkness hid the smile, and Roger only heard the voice.

“Well, I know; don't be angry with me, I am an older campaigner

« PreviousContinue »